Marriage Is Between Two People
Marriage rights have been especially important over the past few decades. Many people have only recently acquired the rights to have their relationships considered legal. This may not seem like much of a victory when considered just from the perspective of romance but legal recognition of marriage can mean the difference between being able to visit a dying spouse in the hospital or being told to wait outside while legal next of kin enter. This paper considers the various types of marriages that have been or in some cases continue to be considered unlawful.
Same sex Marriages
The DSM which contains disorders as defined by the field of Psychology has not listed homosexuality as a mental illness for decades. Despite that homosexual acts continue to be illegal in several countries. Even in countries where they are legal, laws are still being drafted and fought against that would allow two adults of the same sex to marry and enjoy the same rights as couples of the opposite sex.
By definition, a plural marriage takes place among more than two people. There are religions that allow or even promote this but in many countries the first spouse is the only one recognized by law. The act of marrying someone while married to someone else is still considered criminal in those cases. The tradition is treated with varying levels of disapproval from tacit acceptance to persecution.
Not that long ago it was considered beneficial to maintain divisions between people of different races. Some justified this mindset based on eugenics doctrines that claimed some races were superior and others inferior. The mixing of the races was seen by them to be a disturbance to the gene pool that should not be allowed. This led to legal barriers to interracial unions that were only removed in the last century.
Religious beliefs are very important to many people. This makes them less willing to accept their family members marrying into other faiths. This practice is generally legal although in some parts of the world it can result in violent backlashes and even death.
The main reason for marriage should be love. While it is easy from the outside to look at one or more of these types of marriage with judgment, the main issue should be whether these people do harm to themselves or society by being allowed to do as they wish in peace.